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Mollema gutted it out on the final climb of Stage 14, moving up from seventh to third place overall. Cor Vos photo.

Mollema Climbs to Third at Vuelta!

3 September 2011

Rabobank rider Bauke Mollema continued his rise through the ranks at the Vuelta a España stage race Saturday, showing terrific climbing form on Stage 14 and moving up to third place in the General Classification.

Mollema, a 24-year-old Dutch rider who has emerged as a major grand tour talent this season, has shone in the toughest mountain stages of the three-week Tour of Spain. Saturday’s Stage 14 was the second of three critical mountain stages on consecutive days, and Mollema powered his Giant TCR Advanced SL to an impressive finish on the La Farrapona Lagos de Somiedo.

The steep summit finish caused a shake-up among the contenders, and while a handful of other top contenders lost time, Mollema matched the efforts of GC leader Bradley Wiggins and finished the stage in seventh place. His strong finish moved him up from seventh place to third place in the GC and allowed him to take the lead in the Combination Classification, awarded to the rider with the top cumulative standing in the Points, Mountains and General Classifications.

Sunday’s Stage 15 is expected to be another decisive day in the mountains, with a finish atop the brutal Angrilu climb.